In a new patent application, Apple says that a future iPhone will use a new bimodal reverse charging system to charge accessories.
Apple patent shows future iPhones can reverse wireless charging
Last Thursday, Apple’s patent application for a wireless charging system with bimodal magnetic alignment components was published. Reports say that future iPhones may have a way for AirPods, the Apple Watch, and other accessories to charge wirelessly.
To recall, Apple’s current wireless charging system on the back of an iPhone employs a massive coil that is incapable of charging a watch. According to reports, Apple is developing OLED iPad Pros with 11.1-inch and 13-inch screens for 2024.
According to Apple’s patent summary, wireless charging systems use electromagnetic induction to power electronic devices without a connection; With the technology, some portable electronics can be charged simply by placing them on the surface of a wireless charger.
A transmitter coil is driven by an alternating current beneath the charging surface. This produces a time-varying magnetic flux, which causes current to flow in the receiver coil of the portable electronic device. As a result, induced current can be used to charge the battery of a portable electronic device. Some portable electronic devices, like accessories, can get power from and send it to other devices without wires.
Bimodal Magnetic Alignment Components for Alignment of Devices
According to Apple’s description, wireless power transmission efficiency is also dependent on transmitter and receiver coil alignment. For example, transmitter and receiver coils that are aligned coaxially may work well, but flat electronic devices without guiding elements may be hard to align.
This method is time-consuming. A lack of surface characteristics may make alignment difficult. During charging, if the device and/or charger are jostled, they may become misaligned.
Magnetic alignment parts shaped like rings are used in some electronic devices. These components can attract and hold two devices in place.Magnetic alignment systems can be divided into “primary” and “secondary” components.
- Each alignment part may have a set of magnets in the shape of a ring that have fixed magnetic polarities that attract each other.
- If a device has two separate parts for magnetic alignment—one primary and one secondary—it may be bigger, heavier, and cost more.
The present invention includes bimodal device alignment components in some embodiments. The alignment magnets in a bimodal alignment component can be reoriented or repositioned between a first attachment position corresponding to a primary annular alignment component and a second attachment position complementary to a secondary annular alignment component.
With a bimodal alignment component, a device can talk to other devices through either its primary or secondary annular alignment component.
Figure 4 of Apple’s patent shows a simplified exploded view of a bimodal device, and Figure 7 shows a selective perspective view of a bimodal alignment component.
In Apple’s patent, FIGS. 22A and 22B show streamlined cross-section views of a bimodal alignment component in two different attachment positions.
If you want to learn more, look up Apple’s patent application number, US 20220416590 A1.